I diddle around, finding recipes that sound good to me. I cook "it", and then ruminate how much better/worse "it" was than a different preparation of the same dish cooked previously. I've been doing this long enough to know that what I'm tasting isn't exactly a fair basis for comparison with what I *think* I remember tasting in the past. As a winemaker, I know that taste memory is a very fickle friend.
So... I'm wondering... do any of the fantastic cooks here ever resort to doing two preparations of the same dish at one time just so they and their guests have a direct, realtime basis for comparison? Obviously this is more work than one-at-a-time, and requires more pans, etc., and maybe is a bit more expensive. But is it worth it?